T.I. Takes Aim At NFL, Plans Boycott Over New Anthem Policy
Although summer has just begun, the 2018-2019 NFL season is just weeks away. While many avid NFL fans are anticipating the upcoming football season, there are many others who can’t seem to get past the disheartening racially charged incidents that occurred over the last two seasons. For those who missed all of the national anthem drama, the higher-ups in the NFL really showed their true colors when it came to players standing their ground. To many people, the message was clear: Black athletes are nearly equivalent to well-paid slaves. They’re only praised when doing what’s required of them but when it comes to free thinking, they’re criticized and discarded of. Apparently, T.I. hasn’t forgotten about all the backlash and he’s making his sentiments known.
Boycotting The NFL:
According to EURWeb, T.I is still feelin’ some kind of way about the NFL and the league’s new policy for the national anthem has been like salt on an open wound. Now, the famed rapper is reminding fans to keep the movement going. When T.I. appeared on BET’s Genius Talks, he criticized the NFL’s attempts to limit freedom of speech. “I think there’s a violation of constitutional rights being implemented to minority players who choose to have a peaceful silent protest,” T.I. said.
He continued, “It’s really like you want us to shut up and take what we got coming to us in our communities, and that’s just not acceptable,” T.I. continued. “And if that’s what you think about us, why should we really spend our money and show our extreme support of your corporation?”
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 24, 2018
The “Yeah, You Know” rapper made it clear he’ll be boycotting the NFL all year. In fact, T.I. is so serious about the boycott that he’s even vowed not to attend the upcoming Super Bowl despite it being held in Atlanta next year. The Atlanta native is encouraging fans to hit the NFL where it really hurts: their pockets. “We gotta go to the corporations,” T.I. added. “Stop spending our dollars with them until they press the politicians who press the police to do what we need to do until they respect our lives and consider us as equals or else they don’t deserve our dollars.”
The New Policy:
T.I.’s blasting statements about the NFL come weeks after the league announced it’s new policy in regards to the national anthem. Despite the First Amendment, NFL players will be required to stand during the National Anthem. Initially, there was an ongoing debate about the repercussions players faced since there was no definitive rule in place. As expected, the NFL has come up with a rule to protect the league.
According to ESPN, NFL team owners approved the new anthem policy back in May. Ironically, some of these team owners are the same ones were seen supporting their players amid controversy over Colin Kaepernick’s boycott. At the time, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke out to defend the league and it’s support of the national anthem.
“We want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We want people to stand — that’s all personnel — and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. [But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices.”